DePaul University College of LAS > Academics > Liberal Studies > Graduate Program > Liberal Studies (MA)

Liberal Studies (MA)

The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) offers a challenging approach to graduate study in small, effective learning communities for adult students. The multi-disciplinary program emphasizes liberal education and enhanced intellectual skills that are valuable in a wide variety of careers.

Honing the skills of communication and developing the powers of reflection and judgment, MALS engages the imagination to enhance the students potential for leadership.

Program Highlights

Program for working adults. DePaul's MALS program did not grow out of a continuing education program, nor is it a division of a continuing education program. It is an interdisciplinary graduate program for working adults, started by faculty who wanted to teach the humanities and social sciences to other adults outside the academy. In this way, the program reflects DePauls Vincentian ideal of service to the community.

Designed for students who have been away from school. MALS is rigorous and demanding, yet committed to nurturing the intellectual development of students who have been away from school for some time. All courses are taught by faculty selected specifically for the program.

Transformative experience. Whether students come for enrichment or career change, they are formed and transformed into confident intellectuals with skills and knowledge that can be applied in the workplace or to more advanced academic study.

Program Structure

Core courses. You'll begin your studies in core courses that include stimulating and rigorous interdisciplinary studies in multiple fields. You'll hone strong analytical, research and communication skills as you foster academic rigor, intellectual adventure and cultural breadth.

Electives and concentrations. Electives are usually graduate and upper-level courses chosen from departmental offerings in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. You'll select these courses with the aid of an advisor to build a program of study tailored to individual goals and interests. The MALS program offers a number of concentrations, including: Standard, Executive/Leadership and Women's Studies.

Culminating project. The final component of the program is the culminating project: a thesis, a community-based or media project, an enhanced portfolio, or a specially selected exit course and paper.

Program Length

The MALS program is essentially self-paced. However, the university has set a four-year limit for the completion of degree requirements. Extensions may be granted by the Dean in unusual circumstances upon the recommendation of the programs director.

Program Participants

The program is designed for:

  • Serious learners, or those who wish to become serious learners, from recent college graduates to men and women in later life
  • Working adults looking for personal intellectual enrichment or a deepening of professional and leadership potential

(Students seeking a completely self-constructed programming geared toward professional development should explore our sister program, Interdisciplinary Studies.)

Certificate Options

The Liberal Studies MA may also be expanded to include a graduate certificate. The combined programs require either the completion of additional coursework or careful elective selection to fulfill all requirements. Certificates are available in:

  • Women's and Gender Studies

If you're interested in a certificate, a separate application process is required. Contact the program office for additional information.